ShiftyLook Webcomic Panel with New Marv Wolfman Title

Yesterday at the London MCM Expo, Namco Bandai and ShiftyLook hosted a panel to discuss some of their current and upcoming webcomic series’. The panel was hosted by Marv Wolfman, Dean Haspiel, Ben McCool, Jim Zub, Matt Moylan and Dax Gordine.

They started by talking about their main aims as a group. Their aim is to revive retro titles which are no longer in use, and to continue the stories that they started. Working with the entire Namco Bandai back catalogue they have chosen the motto:

No character is too obscure

No franchise is too dead

No husk is too decrepit

The first people up were Matt Moylan and Dax Gordine, the writer and artist for the Bravoman webcomic. The comic is a parody of the old super hero platformer video games, and takes great delight in referencing video game tropes. Dax explained that when creating the comic, the only reference he had for the artwork was the old sprite animation sheets. As long as he kept the colours and general design then he was free to design the characters however he wanted.

Matt discussed the challenges of writing a story from a very small framework, and talked about his decision to keep the broken English of some of the characters intact from the game’s English translation for authenticity.

Next up were Ben McCool and Dean Haspiel, writer and artist for The Five-Dimentional Adventures of Dirk Davies. The comic is based on the game Warp & Warp, which is the oldest Namco Bandai game to have been revived so far. The game had very little in the way of graphics, and just featured a humanoid figure with a gun shooting aliens with their tongues stuck out.

The game did feature a world switching mechanic, which is where the main idea for the comic came from. The story revolves around a 50’s style noire detective trying to solve the mystery of a corporate assassination. In the comic, if someone is murdered, you can bring them back to life by killing their murderer. The hero Dirk is also able to travel between worlds in his search for the killer.

Next up was Jim Zub discussing Wonder Momo. The original game was a very wacky and over the top Japanese game, heavily influenced by Japanese pop culture. The game never saw a release outside of Japan, and even there it was a fairly niche title, meaning that Jim had a lot of freedom to make the comic as over the top and crazy as he wanted. It has gone over very well in Japan, which is now where almost half of the comic’s traffic comes from.

The panel then briefly discussed the ShiftyLook Dig Dug comic series. In celebration of the series 30th anniversary, they got thirty of the best webcomic artists to each contribute a Dig Dug inspired comic strip. Due to the wild variety or artists and writers involved, the series will be hugely varied in how it deals with the character.

The last artist up was Marv Wolfman (creator of Blade, New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths) who was here to unveil his new webcomic series. The big reveal, Marv will be working on a comic based on the Time Crisis games. It will revolve around a pair of agents, who are set to be married, but can’t due to issues with their line of work.

Drawn by J J Kirby and starting this June, the comic will be super fast paced and “attempt to bring the Time Crisis story into the modern age.” Described by Marv as “Time Crisis on fifty cans of Red Bull,” it will apparently “incorporate dark and heavy themes” as well as the series’ classic use of a cover system and a strong time theme. When asked to elaborate on the importance of time in the comic, Ben McCool described it as “the 24 of webcomics” and Marv promised it would be “everyting you could imagine and more.

What do you think of this news? Are you excited to see what Marv has in store for Time Crisis? Are you interested to give some of these other comics a read? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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